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Friday, August 29, 2008

Tunnel Walk, Vol. II, Issue I. The Western Michigan Files

If you woulda told Tunnel Walk 364 days ago...
...Tom Osborne would be serving as Athletic Director;
...Tunnel Walk's head coach would have a 2007 National Championship ring;
...Tunnel Walk would have such strong negative feelings for a fellow North Platte native with a last name rhyming with Smederson;
...NU's 2008 starting quarterback would have 3 starts, 15 TD passes, and have a 500-yard game under his belt;
...Ron Brown would be back on the sidelines;
...Kansas would be unamimously picked to finish ahead of NU in preseason polls;
...former players would be praising the coach;
...Tom Shatel would do an interview with Heavy Soul;
...you woulda been socked squarely in the kisser.

Big XII North Idol
Athletes want to be musicians and musicians want to be athletes. That's why the Rock 'n' Jock series and MTV Sports in general went the way of the triple-option. Regardless, here are the musicians that best represent the teams of the Big XII North.

Nebraska as Bruce Springsteen. Not only does The Boss have a classic album named after the state (which Tunnel Walk has no doubt he was inspired to write after watching the Huskers' crushing 15-22 loss to Clemson in the 1982 Orange Bowl. Much like the game, the album Nebraska is very bleak. You know who was on that team? Irving Fryar and Mike Rozier. Guess where they're from. New Jersey. Think about it.), but he also hangs out with Nebraskan Conor Oberst from time to time. Bruce writes about hard-working, blue-collar characters who face a challenge or turning point in their lives. He may as well be writing the story of the 2008 Huskers.

Kansas as John Mayer. Much like this year's Jayhawk squad, John Mayer is sneakily talented. Mostly known for puff ballads and banging hot celebs, Mayer actually is one helluva guitarist. Kansas, on the other hand, is mostly known for being a creampuff and banging the boards. Last year's 12-1 season is comparable to Mayer getting a torso full of tattoos and having relations with Jennifer Aniston. Sure, Jessica Simpson is a nice score, but Aniston is big-time. (Ed. note: The Lady in Black has informed TW that Aniston and Mayer may not be together at press time.) Regardless of Oscar Mayer's relationship status he, like Lawrence itself, will always prey on suburbanite sorority sisters.

Colorado as Phish. You don't seriously need Tunnel Walk to explain this, do you?

Iowa State as Trace Adkins. Trace Adkins once wrote a song about Ames. It's called Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. He played football at Louisiana Tech. He lost his left pinky while working on an oil rig. He's done voice-overs for KFC and authored the book, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Free-Thinking Roughneck. Tunnel Walk believes that's the dream bio of any ISU grad.

Kansas State as Toby Keith. Had some wins a couple of years back and hasn't really been heard of since. Keith once played defensive end for the USFL farm team, the Oklahoma City Drillers. It could be argued that K-State's existence in the Big XII North is similar. The Toby Keith hairstyle is also quite popular in the Little Apple. Take one-part REO Speedwagon home perm and add to one-part Miami Vice 8 o'clock shadow. Add bolo tie or sleeveless camo shirt for garnish.

Missouri as Sting. Why in the name of Joe Strummer was Elvis Costello opening for Sting? Why, because Sting was back with The Police and they popped out some hits in the 80's. So for now, Sting can be the headliner and Elvis Costello will just politely keep his thoughts to himself. But soon, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner will go back to his tantric escapades and the likes of Elvis Costello will return to the top billing on the marquee. Lest we forget that it was a just a few short years ago when Sting dropped the steaming pile known as "Desert Rose" on our doorsteps. Your uppance will come.

Top 5 under 175
1. Frank Solich, 5-8, 162. First Nebraska player to rush for 200+ yards. Also did some coaching.
2. Dana Brinson, 5-9, 170. He had the ability to run very fast in a non-linear fashion with a football in his hands. Purportedly named after Hall of Fame Nebraska coach Dana X. Bible.
3. Barron Miles, 5-8, 160. Kick blocker extraordinaire, blocking 7 in two years. Not an actual baron. Held UCLA All-American J.J. Stokes scoreless in 1993, despite being 8 1/2 inches shorter. Practiced at QB when both Tommie Frazier and Brook Berringer were injured.
4. Mickey Joseph, 5-10, 170. Broke his leg at Oklahoma when tackled into a metal bench. Was significantly faster before that happened.
5. Johnny Rodgers, 5-10, 171 in 1971; 5-9, 173 in 1972. First Nebraska Heisman Trophy winner. Also won the Walter Camp Award the year after he helped NU to its first set of back-to-back national championships. Hails from Omaha Tech High. Once robbed a guy. Or a convenience store. Once rocked a sports bar and grill on Farnam in Omaha. Smooth dresser dating back to his playing days.

Where Are You Now, Adam Julch?
He's in The Economist, yo. Apparently he works for Werner Enterprises in Omaha. Congratulations on the face time, Number 69. Despite his possible gigantism, he received a lot of grief from a certain portion of the student section during his playing days. Some fans thought that he purposely fell face down on the FieldTurf, as if to avoid oncoming defenders that he was assigned to block. Some students even began a "Heeeeeyyyyy there Julchie, how'd ya like to bite my ass?" chant that became the blueprint for classics such as "Heeeeeyyyyy there Swinney, how'd ya like to bite my ass?" and "Heeeeeyyyyy there Shanle, how'd ya like to bite my ass? Those students were bad fans and were too hard on Mr. Julch. We mean, the guy was a team captain alongside Mike and Ralph Brown. But that is no excuse for buying a Honda Civic. Accords (at least the Maroon 1988 Lxi 4dr edition) are small enough.

The Recruit Files
Already Committed: Cole Pensick, DT. 6-2, 250. Lincoln (Northeast), NE. Cole Pensick has the honor of being the first recruit of Bo Pelini's first full recruiting class at Nebraska. The offer to Pensick isn't too surprising, considering the emphasis from this regime on kids who will fit into the system despite their ratings by Rivals or Scout. Rivals has him listed as a 3 star DT, ranking him #80 at his position. Scout, on the other hand, has him listed as the No. 3 center in all of the land. Based on this staff's willingness to move recruits to either side of the ball, Pensick could end up on offense or defense. Tunnel Walk thinks offense, but who knows.

Wishlister: David Oku, RB. 5-10, 186. Midwest City (Carl Albert), OK. Rated with 4 stars as Rivals' No. 1 all-purpose back. Scout has given Oku 5 stars and ranked him as their No. 6 RB. Oku has scheduled an official visit to NU during the VaTech weekend. It is between NU, Tennessee, Florida State, and Louisville. NU already has a big back in Tray Robinson and a fullback in C.J. Zimmerer, so Oku would be a very nice complement to those two. Oku has said he will decide in October. He reports to have a 2.4 core GPA and a 15 on the ACT which he retook in June, so qualifying may be an issue.

"I'm hoping to grow about two more inches. If I keep taking my vitamins and stuff, I think it'll happen. I'm also trying to get faster and work on my quickness. I'm always trying to get better and in the off-season I've just focused on running and hitting the weights."

Captains Profile: Western Michigan
Joe Ganz, QB. Tunnel Walk will file this one under O for obvious choice. Ganz has been a captain in training for about five years. Says the right things and more importantly does the right things. Tunnel Walk hopes that doing the right thing now excludes throwing picks.
Matt Slauson, OG. Another selection that was pretty easy to see coming. Slauson has started since his freshman year. Gives amusing quotes, typical of an offensive lineman.
Barry Turner, DE. Tunnel Walk would have thought Zach Potter would have been the first DE to be selected as a team captain. TW isn't sure if this is indicative of Turner's camp leadership thus far, but here's to hoping. A motivated Barry Turner is a good Barry Turner.
Dan Titchener, P. Cheyenne, Wyoming's own! You know what else is from Cheyenne? Taco John's, the best West-Mex around (just 0.68 miles down the road from MIB. He suggests the unheralded Taco Burger.). Coming Soon: Titchener for Heisman.

Top 5 Signs Football Season is Here

1. Nothing is different in Iowa

2. Brent Musberger is unfrozen

3. Jim Rose's voice begins to shatter mirrors and windows in the KFAB studios (The Tunnel Walk is clearly not ready to stop making fun of Jim Rose yet)

4. Ron Prince and Josh Freeman begin their daily doses of LSD

5. Mark May ascends to throne

Locks of the Week

Ohio-Wyoming Under 49.5
MIZZOU -8.5 over Illinois
Idaho (featuring North Platte native Nathan Enderle at QB) +27 over ASU.

Stadium Wars
The Tunnel Walk has sat in every corner that is Memorial Stadium, from our season tickets high above Salt Creek in the North Stadium, to posh seats on the 50-yard-line that we snuck down to at the end of the 1997 Oklahoma blowout. Therefore, we are cognizant of the jumbled-together nature that comprises our cement masterpiece (?).

From the student section to the club level, North to South, East to West, no seat is the same, but each seat is exactly the same. It is with this in mind that The Tunnel Walk presents you with Stadium Wars.


East Stadium vs. West Stadium

East Stadium—This stadium is mostly known for old people telling The Tunnel Walk to sit down, being drowned out by the band, and a ridiculous balcony that inhibits scoreboard viewing. On the positive, the view is great, the sunshine warm, the team close, and the vendors plentiful. We recommend getting balcony seats sometime as well, to view all of Lincoln.

West Stadium—If you own a business or are an orthopedic surgeon, welcome home! The people in this section are so rich they don’t even serve Valentino’s Pizza, they serve raw shellfish platters. And that’s not even at the club level, where Ted DiBiase, The Million Dollar Man, is your personal serf. If you have the means, though, you are in for a treat. It never gets too hot or two cold, bathrooms seem to be newer than anywhere else in the joint, and the selections of concessions is outlandish. You can get University of Nebraska ice cream in the Northwest corner. Plus, come early to see REALLY rich people and the ghost of Steve Pederson make their way up to the suites.

Winner: West stadium

North Stadium vs. South Stadium

North Stadium—In a nod to Nebraska’s ranching tradition, getting to a seat in the North End Zone requires forcing 30,000 people through three 8 x 8 tunnels. In addition, the bathrooms are right in front of the tunnels to absolute the clusterfuck. Then you realize that you cannot see the scoreboard despite being able to touch it, but you sure as hell can hear it. The one positive is that the hearty North Stadium fans are really into it, and are true-die hards. Everything else, though, sucks.

South Stadium—Feel that breeze in November, because it’s strong and it’s cold, although admittedly not as much as it used to be with the new scoreboard. The Tunnel Walk enjoys the South Stadium: the sun is at your back, the crowd boisterous, the view of the scoreboard and the ample bathroom and concessions below. The one downside: it seems to be more cramped than the north, which is a small price to pay for being able to get to your seat in less than 30 minutes.

Winner: South Stadium


South Stadium vs. West Stadium

Who are we kidding; there isn’t a soul alive that wouldn’t rather be on the west side than the south side. Therefore, The Tunnel Walk declares that you get to these sections based on whatever financial status you can. For example:

Warren Buffett: Skybox
Kirk Cameron: West Stadium
Ted DiBiase: Waiter, Club Level
The Tunnel Walk: North Stadium

This Week’s Dorothy Lynchcapade
The taco salad. The meat, the cheese, the taco shell, the tomato, the lettuce, the Dorothy Lynch.

The Tunnel Walk says, “Recognize!” The only acceptable dressing on taco salads is Dorothy Lynch. Please keep in mind that salsa is still perfectly acceptable. If you are taking that crispy mother the salad dressing route, though, Dorothy Lynch. Go ahead, ask Don and Millie’s. If you must take it the ranch route, you must be at Amigos. And drunk. And if that is the case, then you should be ordering Cheesy’s.

"You know who you look like..."
ESPN's Doug Gottlieb versus It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Glenn Howerton. Glenn as "Dennis Reynolds" does have some experience with basketball.

Prediction Time!

People are fired up for the Pelini Era. The Tunnel Walk shares this excitement. Western Michigan is a legitimate team with some seasoning on both sides of the ball. If what we're hearing is true, though, Nebraska should be able to push them around on offense and run the damn football. Look for Marlon Lucky, Roy Helu Jr., and Quentin Castille to blow up. Matt Slauson should have fun running into people. Look for Nebraska to score more football points and ultimately win the football game, but Western Michigan will make it interesting. The NCAA's new clock rules may come into play as well.

Nebraska 41, WMU 27

Labels: , , ,

Very, very good work. Thanks!
Yes, I have been waiting all year to read the tunnel walk and Heavy Soul comes through!

Great stuff...good memory on the Julch tune.

Thanks for bringing up the terrible memory that is Irwin "Highway 16" Swiney....could have done without that one.
Highway 16 and Julchy...I'm having flashbacks to North Stadium, Husker punch, P. West painted in red with just boxers on, 100 degree game days...

Good God, I don't know how we survived those games.
Truer words about Dorthy Lynch have never been spoken. I still have my mom mail me bottles from home and taco salad is my use of choice. Have you ever looked at the ingredients list for dorthy lynch? Ingredient #1 - tomato soup. Awesome! It then goes on to list the ingredients for tomato soup.

My love of Dorthy Lynch aside great work on the tunnel walk. I think Julch might be MIBs alter ego. Small car, large man, and i distincly remember yelling at the TV during the 1998 shrine game while MIB laid face down on the field. Maybe one day soon MIB will be featured in The Economist.
Here's to hoping!
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